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    children's books, diverse books, giveaways

    Habbi Habbi Bilingual Education at Home + Reading Wand & Bilingual Books Giveaway!

    Disclaimer: I was gifted the Habbi Habbi Reading Wand and bilingual books in exchange for an honest review and to host this giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own.

    Are you looking for an easy, screen-free and interactive way to raise bilingual kids? If so, you may want to check out a company called Habbi Habbi. Started by two moms, Hanna and Anne-Louise, these women value being intentional parents. As stated on their website:

    We aspire to have our kids … express CREATIVITY, be SELF RELIANT, be GRITTY, feel WORTHY, show EMPATHY, engage GLOBAL COMMUNITY, exercise SELF CARE. 

    Habbi Habbi bilingual books are are such a great way to introduce kids to a new language and major bonus points for them being so easy to use!

    Once your books and reading wand arrive, take them out of the box and turn the reading wand on. It comes fully charged and ready to use right out of the box. This is HUGE for anxious and curious kids like mine who are always ready to just “dive right in”. Every inch is of the book is tappable – text, image, even white space! Our family was gifted a set of English-Spanish books to try.

    Also, you’ll only need one want to use with ANY book in the Habbi Habbi series, regardless of language. E.g. one wand accesses Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and any future title / language that is released. The reading wand is also re-chargable and comes with a USB cord for easy charging.

    The bilingual books are matte hardcover board books with thick and sturdy pages, perfect for even the tiniest readers! They also have rainbow colored book spines which make them aesthetically pleasing to look at all together on your bookshelf.

    I can’t recommend the Habbi Habbi reading wand and bilingual books enough for anyone who wants to learn Spanish or Mandarin Chinese with their children. Have you tried Habbi Habbi with your little readers yet? Feel free to share in the comments.

    THE GIVEAWAY!
    Our friends at Habbi Habbi want to give one (1) lucky winner a Starter Set (Wand + 5 books) – in your choice of Spanish-English or Chinese-English.

    Entry rules: Open Worldwide at everyone ages 18 and over. (If it is an international winner – you are required to pay shipping on your own). There will be no shipping costs for U.S. or Canadian residents. Good Luck!

    Habbi Habbi Bilingual Education at Home + Reading Wand & Bilingual Books Giveaway!

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    children's books, diverse books

    Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho (A Book Review)

    Title: Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho, illustrated by Dung Ho
    Published by Harper Kids
    Pages: 40
    Age Range: 4 – 8 years
    Grade Level: Pre-K – 3

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harper Kids in exchange for an honest review.  As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

    Synopsis
    A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers’. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother’s, and her little sister’s. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.

    Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self love and empowerment.

    Reflection
    “My eyes that kiss I the corners and glow like warm tea are a revolution.”

    People often call eyes the windows to the soul. The eyes are usually one of the first things we look at on another person. They can tell us when someone is lying or telling the truth, and they can even tell us when someone is in love or ill. Apparently, our eyes tell us a lot more about ourselves and others than we once thought.

    In America, and in other parts of the world, there are negative stereotypes that still persist today related to having “Asian eyes.” When people say “Asian eyes”, they are talking about slantedness, roundness, smooth monolids and deep eyelid folds. But they’re also talking Westernization, beauty standards and self-acceptance.

    Eyes That Kiss in the Corners is a beautifully written and illustrated love letter that celebrates Asian eyes. It’s a lyrical ode to loving oneself, self acceptance, and having confidence. Four generations of women are featured in this story and they all have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea.

    This book is an absolute must-have for Asian and Asian-American children (and adults) who may have grown up feeling ashamed about their eyes. If you grew up wearing eyelid tape or Scotch tape to make your eyes appear bigger, read this. If you ever had eyelid surgery to change your Asian eyes, read this. If you were made fun of or called names because of your eyes, read this. It is sure to heal your soul and fill you with so much pride and joy about your eyes.

    Everyone should read this book, not just Asians or Asian-Americans. Reading it can help build empathy, compassion and a better understanding for some readers. Books like Eyes That Kiss in the Corners are so needed to help reflect our multicultural world.

    Eyes That Kiss in the Corners publishes on January 5, 2021, but is available now for pre-orders. Ages 4-8 and up.

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    giveaways, holiday gift guide series, product reviews, Uncategorized

    $100 Lakeshore Learning Gift Card Giveaway + The Ultimate Fort Builder

    We can’t get enough of the products from Lakeshore Learning. I am consistently impressed with their quality, service and affordability. Through my partnership with them, I am now able to try out products at home with my kids like their awesome Ultimate Fort Builder that my kids are obsessed with.

    The Ultimate Fort Builder includes 45 durable poles and 25 kid-friendly connectors, which can be put together to create an igloo, a castle and other creations. The structures are strong enough to support a sheet or blanket on top, and the kit also includes instructions for easy construction.

    Before the kids started building, it was easy to see that several skills would be needed for success in building their forts:

    • teamwork
    • organization
    • following directions
    • critical thinking

    With zero adult instruction or help, my kids opened up the box, sorted the parts and started building.

    Once their fort was complete, the kids added a blanket on top and a few pillows on the floor. While not sturdy enough to climb on, their fort was well-made and not likely to come down without effort. The kids enjoyed playing inside and there was plenty of room for them to move around comfortably.

    Some other great benefits of building with the Ultimate Fort Builder:

    • encourages imagination and creativity
    • fosters cooperative play
    • helps boost kid’s confidence when they complete each project on their own or working together as a team

    More to Love About Lakeshore Learning
    Did you know Lakeshore has been making award-winning and high-quality educational products for over 60 years? They are a brand my family and I trust for their unique and exclusive products that are designed by teachers. Their products encourage curiosity and imagination and help kids develop a love of learning. Have you seen their 2020 Gifts for Growing Minds collection yet? It has all the gifts and learning toys you need to complete your holiday shopping for kids on your list.

    Save with my Lakeshore Learning Coupon
    You can take advantage of using my unique code if you are shopping on LakeshoreLearning.com this holiday season or in-stores. Use my code 7933 to save 25% off any single non-sale item. Coupon valid ‪through 12/31/20 for one-time use in stores or online. Limit one coupon per customer. Not valid on items with shipping restrictions. Other exclusions may apply. Visit http://bit.ly/3bRGxeZ for details.

    Lakeshore Learning $100 Gift Card Giveaway!

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    children's books, diverse books, subscription boxes

    The Barefoot Book Box: A Book Subscription for Kids 0 – 9

    Are you planning to gift your little readers or students with a book subscription box this holiday season?

    I love monthly subscription boxes for kids because they offer unique educational experiences. Subscription boxes can give kids of all ages the chance to learn by reading great books, doing fun projects, crafts and activities. Many subscription boxes on the market today are designed to include everything you need to spend quality time together as a family or on your own.  Today, there are subscription boxes that appeal to all sorts of different interests and passions from books to beauty and everything in between.

    Have you heard about the Barefoot Book Box yet? They currently have three book boxes available for kids ages 0 – 2, ages 3 – 5 and ages 6 – 9. You can choose their 3 month, 6 month or 12 month plan.

    From their website:
    “Each box is created by an independent children’s book publisher with nearly 30 years of experience crafting award-winning products. The publisher Barefoot Books is known for publishing beautiful books of the highest quality. They’re designed around a set of core values to help you raise caring, open-minded, global citizens who can think critically and creatively. Educators and parents know that if a book is from Barefoot, they can trust the language, storytelling and illustrations to be beautiful, age-appropriate, and engaging for kids.”

    Each Barefoot Book Box includes books, gifts, an artist’s print and expert tips that are focused on a specific theme. The themes are rooted in their 5 core pillars of publishing:

    • Global Awareness, Diversity & Inclusion
    • Early Learning & First Concepts
    • Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics
    • Social-Emotional Learning
    • Creativity & Imagination

    My kids are currently ages 6 and 8 so we opted for the box for kids ages 6 – 9. Some of the things I love the most about Barefoot Books is their commitment to diversity and inclusion, their high-quality books, and how they incorporate real-life lessons, social/emotional learning and STEAM (science, math, engineering, art, and math) into their books.

    Barefoot Books also gets bonus points from me for their consistent use of bright and vivid illustrations and I absolutely LOVE their commitment to green (eco-friendly) business practices. From sustainably sourced paper to vegetable-based ink, the materials that make up their books are ones that you can feel good about having in your classroom or home. Just look at the quality of their books!

    Did I also mention they work with talented artists from around the world who illustrate each of our books by hand? As a part of your subscription, with every box you’ll receive an exclusive, collectable 8×10 inch illustration image, printed on sturdy cardstock. You can hang these on your walls, give them as gifts, use them as prompts to inspire your child’s artwork, or laminate them to create unique and colorful placemats. In addition to expert tips, the back of each artist’s print features information about the artist and their illustration technique. Talk about attention to detail AND adding even more value!

    Keeping these prints within your child’s view not only adds beauty and whimsy to your home or classroom — it also reminds your child of their favorite books, reinforcing learning and prompting ongoing discussions.

    The best part? Shipping costs are already included in your membership prepaid price! In addition, all Barefoot Book Box memberships are prepaid. Therefore, there is no need to cancel your membership if you wish to no longer receive a box. Your payment method will be charged only once at the time of purchase. No further charges will be made.

    Lastly, at this time, the Barefoot Book Box is available for purchase in the United States, only. International shipping and shipping to Alaska and Hawaii are not currently available for online orders.

    So, what do you think? Are you ready to check out The Barefoot Book Box? Pop on over to their website to start exploring! Happy Reading!

    Your turn: Have you tried this book subscription box yet? Feel free to share in the comments if you care to share.

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    children's books, diverse books, holiday books

    The Mocha Express Reading Challenge: Download this Diverse & Inclusive Holiday Reading Challenge for Kids and Adults!

    Happy Holidays, friends! Y’all ready for another resource to use with your little readers, your students or on your own? If you’re an educator, it makes the perfect holiday gift for all of your students no matter what age they are!

    To create this printable, I collaborated with Briana James of Artish Reader, a talented Art student. If you’ve been following me for a while, you may remember the first project Briana and I collaborated on for my 31 Days of Women’s History coloring sheet.

    I talked to Briana about my idea and concept and she used her creative genius to produce a high-quality reading chart. I couldn’t be more happier with it! Get in touch with Briana, give her a follow on Instagram, and support her as she continues to build up her art portfolio. It’s always such a pleasure to work with her and help support another Black woman at the same time.

    This coloring printable is a fun way to celebrate holiday reading. It features an array of books and other items beautifully stacked on a train which I’ve decided to call the Mocha Express. You can enjoy this coloring page printed in various sizes from 11 x 17 up to 24 X 36 if you’d like jumbo poster size.

    Each day during the holiday months, color in one book or object until the whole poster is complete. Also, be sure to use the checklist to check off books as you read or complete the challenges. I designed this printable to be used starting Thanksgiving Day (in the U.S.), but you can start using it any day throughout the year you choose.

    If you need book recommendations throughout the challenge, I have created several categorized lists in my online Bookshop and Amazon stores to assist you. Also, if purchasing new or used books isn’t in your budget, be sure to utilize your local library.

    Here are a few of my book lists to help get you started:

    Thanksgiving Books for Kids
    Hanukkah Books for Kids
    Multicultural/Diverse Christmas Books for Kids
    Latinx Book Recommendations
    Diverse & Inclusive Board Books for Infants and Preschoolers
    Diverse & Inclusive Picture Books for Kids
    African-American Picture Books Featuring Males
    African-American Picture Books Featuring Females
    Native/Indigenous Picture Books
    Asian & Pacific Islander Book Recommendations

    Happy Reading!

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THIS PRINTABLE! 

    CHECK OUT MORE OF MY RESOURCES (INCLUDING MY POPULAR PRINTABLE READING JOURNAL and 28 DAYS OF BLACK HISTORY) ON MY TEACHER’S PAY TEACHERS WEBSITE AND GIVE ME A FOLLOW OVER THERE TOO.

    AS ALWAYS, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

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    family fun, technology

    Find Black Santa + An Interview with the Mobile App Creator Jihan Woods

    Find Black Santa Mobile App

    Tell us a little about yourself and your mobile app.  When was the app created?   

    Hi! My name is Jihan Woods and I’m a mom, psychiatrist and the founder of Find Black Santa mobile app. I graduated from Hampton University in 2004 with a Bachelors in Finance. Upon graduating from Hampton University, I worked as a Financial Analyst before applying to medical school.  I completed medical school at Drexel University College of Medicine in 2013 followed by residency in General Psychiatry and fellowship in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at University of Texas Southwestern. 

    I spent a great deal of my training exploring the impact of race and cultural pride on the mental and physical health outcomes of youth. I also have a passion for bringing awareness to the lack of positive Black representation in media.  This idea was the premise of my developing Find Black Santa.  Find Black Santa is the only mobile-app of its kind designed to connect families with real Black Santa entertainment. I created the app in 2018 and is available in the App store and Google Play

    What was the inspiration behind creating the app Find Black Santa?  

    After having my own children (twin boys!), I realized the lack of Black representation in media especially during the holiday season. That’s when my entrepreneurship journey began.  I utilized my expertise in child psychiatry and business savvy to create a mobile app affectionately titled Find Black Santa.  My inspiration were my twin boys and frustration with finding a Santa that represented our family. Studies show that children with a positive attitude about their own racial identity are more likely to thrive academically and socially. Experiencing a Black Santa is an important aspect of that. My goal is to connect families with Black Santas. My mission is to provide families with access to positive cultural imagery, diversify the meaning of Christmas and spread joy each holiday season.   

    Is Black Santa married to Black Mrs. Claus? (LOL!):   

    I don’t’ know you’d have to ask Santa! (lol) Santa is beautiful and magical and can be a representation of the uniqueness in all families.

    Did you create the app on your own or did you have help?  What was the creative process like for you?

    Yes, I created the app on my own. I’m definitely not a techie, nor do I have a tech background. It was fun! This process allowed me to utilize my creative skills. It involved a lot of research and time to figure out all of the ins and outs of developing a user friendly app. Aesthetically, I wanted festive colors with a modern twist; hence the pink!  Practically, I wanted users to be able to quickly get the information they needed so it was important to me that Santa profiles and events were strategically organized by state. 

    How do you keep your brand and app top of mind with your audience throughout the rest of the year?  

    Since we are in the midst of COVID-19 it’s increasingly important to meet people where they are; therefore, we are transitioning to the virtual world of Christmas which has been a unique and fun experience.  This year I created an Advisory Board which has been a think tank to expand the brand. With their help, we launched “Hot Cocoa with Dr. Woods,” a webinar series on all things, tech, culture, Santa and children’s mental health.  

    What messages do you hope to send to children and parents with your app?
    It’s important to me that people experience diversity in all aspects of their lives. Santa is one avenue in which families who celebrate Christmas can do this. 

    What’s next for you and Find Black Santa?
    Find Black Santa has grown exponentially over the past 3 years. With 19,000+ downloads and thousands of subscribers and supporters, I hope to expand my reach beyond the mobile app within my educational webinar series “Hot Cocoa with Dr. Woods”.  I also hope to grow my brand and eventually evolve into the go-to network and resource for Black-owned businesses. 

    Anything else you’d like to share with us?  
    In addition to the Find Black Santa App, supporters can visit our Holiday Shop and find festive apparel and accessories (including face masks!).

    Where can people find you online?   

    Instagram: @findblksanta  

    Website: findblacksanta.com  

    Email: info@findblacksanta.com  

    Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/FBSHolidayShop 

    Find Black Santa
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    children's books, diverse books

    A Kids Book About Diversity by Charnaie Gordon

    A Kids Book About Diversity by Charnaie Gordon

    Y’all ready to pre-order a copy of my first children’s book, A Kids Book About Diversity? I am thrilled to be joining all of the other amazing authors including the co-founder, Jelani Memory who wrote A Kids Book About Racism.

    A Kids Book About publishes hardcover, high-quality books that cover a range of challenging, empowering and important topics for kids ages 5-9. They have an impressive growing collection of books about: money, white privilege, feminism, body image, voting, depression, cancer, empathy, systemic racism and more.

    Each book has an easy to follow text-only format with no illustrations. Essentially, these books are meant to be conversation starters and are best read with a grown up to answer any discussion questions children may have.

    Also, have you heard the news? A Kids Book About recently announced their books made it on the 2020 list of Oprah’s favorite things!

    My book, A Kids Book About Diversity, will be released in early 2021 and I can’t wait for some of you to read it. I hope many educators and parents use A Kids Book About Diversity to help navigate their discussions around diversity and celebrating differences.

    To pre-order your copy of A Kids Book About Diversity head to the A Kids Book About Website.

    To support my author journey follow my new page Instagram page @authorcharnaiegordon.

    I did it y’all, I wrote a book! Recommended for Ages 5-9 and up.

    P.S. Be on the lookout for additional book announcements from me coming soon.

    Your turn: Have you read any of the books in the A Kids Book About series yet?  Let me know some of your favorites in the comments if you care to share.

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